Week #9: Details Matter...

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Friday, July 28, 2017


Francisco Ayala Rodriguez

“Details matter, it’s worth waiting to get it right” –Steve Jobs.

What would be of every gear-composed mechanism without the specific shape of each gear? If it weren’t for the details of its inner structure, it would not accomplish anything. It takes more than just time to do things right, it takes dedication and perseverance. And when the time is right, the efforts delivered to the matter will result in a satisfying conclusion with nothing left to chance.

This week has been all about little details. I have been polishing the graphic design for the cards with Leanne’s professional advice (Graphic Design Manager of the APS). After a series of models and art “generations” we reach the one that will be used for the making of the cards. The most difficult part of it was making sure that the contrast would not interfere with the reading of the clues. After printing a couple of models and testing them around the office, we decided for the ones that will be used (displayed at the end of this post).

The four categories will have a characteristic set of colors and given backgrounds. These backgrounds include signatures for physicists, device doodles for equipment, formulas for the laws and concepts, and a landscape for the places and agencies. It was fun to explore this part of the project and learn more about graphic design. I was nervous to develop this artistic part of the project, but I definitely enjoyed it.

Speaking of details, James and I took the opportunity to learn how to use a button puncher. Right after that, we started to look for something worthy of printing in a button. We manage to print a pixelated version of James’ face and leave some copies around the office, the results where hilarious and priceless.

Out of the office, I had the opportunity to stop by the International Spy Museum. It is incredible how we can design such elaborated mechanisms and devices. From a replica of the modified dart-shooting umbrella to the inner workings of house bugging, the museum details the many devices used for spying. It also unveiled some of the history behind spy culture and common beliefs. It is a cool place to have fun and learn more about the hidden life of the real secret agents.

Taking a step back from the action-filled experienced, I visited the United States Botanic Garden. It is one of the most relaxing places to be if you ever visit Washington D.C. From poisonous plants to endangered species, this garden is a tribute to the many uses and wonders of the botanical world. I have to admit that one of the most remarkable aspects is the sound inside it. Trust me when I say that the silence is different between an empty room and a room with plants all over the place. A charming experience filled with fun facts and images of nature around the world.

Going back to the action-filled experiences, Riley and Eleanor (AIP Mather Policy Interns) managed to get a bunch of passes for a treasure hunt in the library of congress. It was fascinating to see the variety that the library of congress can offer. The treasure hunt guided us through the building and the many exhibitions it has. We were able to know more about the building architecture and the history behind some of the exhibitions. We had a great time and finished the hunt just in time to enter a raffle, but that it’s not in our hands.

As I mentioned before, this week was all about the details. Between elaborated spy gadgets, card design, and clue hunting, it is clear that good things take time to be planned and made. As I come closer to the end of my internship, all my tasks include covering the minor details left to get the cards done. At the end of the day, every piece it’s falling on its place. Now, it’s just a matter of tying down the loose ends. 

Physics Concepts: all about physics laws.
Physics Celebrities: the history of great physicists.
Physics tools: fun facts about physics devices.
Physics Guidebook: Facts about the places in which physics was born.
Little surprise...
Modified umbrella...
The enigma machine...
Lilly Pads!!!!
Inside the library of congress...
Gutenberg's Bible...

Francisco Ayala Rodriguez